The main duty of a Judge is to uphold the law and see that justice is made. Along with the jury, Judges analyze and interpret all evidence in a court of law regarding cases, to be able to dictate a fair verdict and a sentence when necessary. They act as impartial mediators in courts of law, taking part in hearings, civil litigation cases, among others.
Something very peculiar about Judges is that they are not hired, but rather elected. When a Lawyer applies for a judgeship, they submit their cases to a court where they face an evaluation regarding their work, moral values, and integrity. There can only be so many Judges at a time in a single district, so applicants may have to wait for an older Judge to retire for a vacancy to open up.
It almost goes without saying that a key characteristic of a Judge is their impartiality. They are required to analyze situations and cases from all perspectives in order to make an unbiased decision.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Judges are required to complete.
- Overseeing cases in courts of law, enforcing the applicable code of conduct, and upholding laws and procedures:
- Explaining applicable laws and technical terms to members of the jury;
- hearing allegations of the prosecuting and defending parties;
- ruling on the admissibility of evidence;
- informing defendants of their rights;
- analyzing all aspects of each case, listening to testimonies, and considering evidence presented during the case;
- reviewing cases in order to ensure that no detail has been overlooked;
- using sound judgement based on evidence in order to make the right decision, without a jury, in order to reach a verdict in favour of one of the two parties;
- deciding on a suitable punishment in criminal cases and making appropriate rulings in civil cases;
- deciding the detention terms of defendants during criminal cases; and
- maintaining an impartial stance in a court of law and upholding all human and civil rights.
- Approving search and arrest warrants.
- Monitoring the activities of Law Clerks and Court Officers.
- Meeting with Lawyers to discuss cases and encourage settlement.
- Establishing court rules and procedures.
- Performing marriage ceremonies and issuing marriage licences.
- Presiding over divorce cases, dividing assets depending on the individual circumstances of each case:
- Granting custody of minors during divorce cases to one of the parents, depending on the circumstances.
- Drafting clear and concise bench memorandums and other legal documents.
- Staying up-to-date with new passing bills, laws, and legislations.
- Researching and analyzing legal issues.
- Understanding and interpreting complex legal documents and files.
- Listening to cases presented by two opposing parties during trials and hearings.
- Determining if the information presented supports the charges, claims, or disputes.
- Ensuring that the proceeding is being conducted in compliance with the rules and the applicable law.
- Applying the corresponding laws or precedents to reach judgements and to resolve disputes between the parties involved.
- Documenting and filling all information regarding cases and other legal processes.
The search Judge did not match any salary.
- Try more general keywords
- Check your spelling
- Replace abbreviations with the entire word
- Critical-thinking and decision-making skills:
- Preventing their personal assumptions from interfering with the proceedings, basing their decisions on specific meanings of the law; and
- being capable of weighing the facts, applying the law and rules, and making a decision relatively quickly.
- Outstanding problem-solving, analytical, and organizational skills:
- Being able to accurately assess legal situations;
- having strong multitasking skills; being able to work under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- managing and understanding vast amounts of information while extracting important data; and
- having the ability to retain large amounts of information.
- Mediation skills:
- Being able to resolve disputes and promote settlement between the parties.
- Excellent communication skills:
- Having outstanding listening skills in order to pay close attention to what is being said so as to evaluate and analyze information quickly and accurately;
- having enough tact to deal with sensitive situations; and
- being capable of writing recommendations and decisions on appeals and disputes in a clear manner, so that all sides understand the decision.
- Excellent levels of integrity, morality, honesty, and responsibility:
- Handling sensitive or confidential information;
- being capable of separating their emotions and prejudice from the defendant’s problems in order to objectively evaluate the matter at hand and to pass the appropriate verdict or sentence; and
- following strict ethical guidelines.
- Good computer skills:
- Using specialized software to compile evidence, prepare cases, and draft legal documents and files.
In order to become a Judge in Canada, the candidate must have a Law degree and be a certified and licensed Lawyer, as well as having extensive experience practising or teaching Law. Most legal jurisdictions in Canada require 10 years of experience as a minimum requirement, with a continuous membership in the bar association. Judges are appointed by federal or provincial cabinets in Canada.
There are several types of Judges:
- Ruling over trials and hearings are Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates.
- Local and provincial Judges may be called Municipal Court Judges, County Court Judges, or Magistrates.
- Judges who serve and work on a federal level are named District Court Judges or General Trial Court Judges.
- Appellate Court Judges are in charge of revising decisions made by other Judges.
- In Administrative Law hearings and processes the Judge is called and Adjudicator.
Judges usually work long hours in preparation for hearings and trials; they are also expected to travel in some cases. These professionals must also be available at all times for emergency situations (e.g. emergency custody hearings). The job of a Judge can be mentally demanding as they are required to go through large amounts of legal documents and texts, analyze testimonies, examine evidence, and give their undivided and unbiased attention to what both parties have to say. Many cases can take months due to the sheer quantity of information that needs to be processed, as well as the legal and bureaucratic procedures that must be followed.